The committee set up by the Senate to investigate the political crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly says its report may be ready for presentation on Wednesday.
Chairman of the panel, Senator Kabiru Gaya said the committee which spent a few days in Port Harcourt met with some dramatis personal in the unfolding political drama in the state.
Apart from the Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi, the committee met with controversial police commissioner in the state, Mbu Joseph Mbu, who has been accused of bias in his handling of the crisis in the state.
The committee also met the state Director, State Security Service, Olusegun Agbaje, as well as Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), Maj Gen Bata Debiro, among other security officials.
The panel also met with Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, two former Deputy Speakers of the House of Representatives, a former Senator, amongst others.
Gaya, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on States and Local Governments, said shortly before the members of the committee left Port Harcourt on Saturday promised that the report of the committee will be based on the facts that have been established.
He ruled out the possibility of presenting a lopsided report, stating, “check my records. I was governor of Kano State twenty years ago. “ I know the importance of this assignment. Go and check, we had the police and SSS presence round the clock, so how could any of us be compromised”.
The committee met with the two lawmakers from both sides of the divide in their hospital beds, and interacted with them.
Meanwhile, the political crisis in Rivers State took a more worrisome dimension on Saturday, as a group asked President Goodluck Jonathan to be prepared for a revolution similar to what was recently witnessed in Egypt.
The warning is sequel to the July 8 fracas at the Rivers House of Assembly Chambers in Port Harcourt, where five out of the 32 members, attempted to remove the Speaker.
In a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Network, Dino Melaye, titled, “Touch Amaechi, touch Nigeria,” the group accused the President of sponsoring the ongoing crisis in Rivers State, saying that the life of the Governor of Rivers State was in the hands of Mr. President and his wife.
The former House of Representatives member said, “We will do everything within the confines of the law to protect our fragile democracy which the President or his wife does not know how we got it.”
“The abuse of law and order by both the anti-Amaechi legislators and the Nigerian Police is not only disgraceful but will not be tolerated by the mass of the people in this country. The Presidency cannot absolve herself from this satanic manifestation. Who ordered the military withdrawal from Rivers state Government House?”
Continuing, “What is going on in Rivers State is African magic. We leave Amaechi’s life in the hands of Mr. President and his wife. We give the IGP one week to remove the Commissioner of Police in Rivers state; failure to do so, we shall mobilize Nigerians like never before to occupy the Force HQ in Abuja. The President should get ready for the Egyptian treatment”.
“Usurpers will not kill democracy. The battle to safeguard our democracy is a battle of no retreat, no surrender. President Jonathan is behaving as if he has no legacy intentions. Try us and see, I dare the Presidency, Enough is Enough.”
Amaechi has been in trouble for opposing some policies of the Jonathan-led administration including the Sovereign Wealth Fund, as well as his desire to run for a higher office in 2015, an ambition the President considers a threat to his re-election bid.
The Rivers helmsman is still on the suspension slammed on him by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, days after winning the May 24 chairmanship election of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, NGF.
In another development, the National Councillors Forum of Nigeria, Rivers State chapter has threatened to occupy the Rivers State House of Assembly, if the five legislators opposed to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi go ahead with their alleged plan to cause more trouble in the state .
Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, Chairman of the forum, Hon. Lesor Nwigbaranee while reacting to the news of the purported impeachment of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree said the forum is in touch with its members and would not allow anybody no matter how highly placed to destabilize the state and cause anarchy.
He said Rivers people are peace loving going about their business and making giant strides in development.
He wondered why some disgruntled politicians would put a spanner in the wheel of progress.
He said the forum would adopt civil disobedience which is acceptable in a democracy to fight injustice and flagrant disregard to the rule of law.
He said they would mobilise their supporters to prevent the anarchy that is looming in the state.
He urged the people of Rivers State to unite and condemn the rape of democracy, adding that the stage is set for a scripted state of emergency.
He wondered why neighbouring states in the Niger Delta are peaceful and Rivers state is selected to be overheated.
He said politics should not divide us as Rivers people adding that the crisis was only a means of controlling the apparatus of the state.
“Head or tail,we are Rivers people”, he said, therefore, we must fight to protect the state from sliding into anarchy
He advised well meaning Nigerians to caution the perpetrators of this evil and warned that it was a similar action in Western Nigeria in the 1960s that led to the collapse of the first republic.
“And we should rise up as a nation to condemn what is going on in Rivers State”, he added.
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
Wike, Pride Of Nigeria’s Democracy, NUJ Affirms
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, as an exhibit of pride to democracy in Nigeria.
The NUJ also noted that Wike has redefined governance through demonstration of democracy in action with his service to Rivers people.
The National leadership, the 36 State Executives, and the FCT, including members of the NUJ across the country made the assertion in Port Harcourt during the inspection tour led by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim of both completed and ongoing projects being undertaken by the governor in the state.
The National President of the NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo, said the 1999 Constitution bestows on the media the responsibility to hold governments accountable to the people.
Isiguzo posited that having placed the projects side-by-side with the expectations of the populace, it was obvious that the governor’s investment in critical infrastructure would remain lifelong empowerment tools for the people.
”We were at the Mother and Child Hospital. We took time to look at the facilities there. That can easily be said to be first of its kind in the country.
”At the much-talked about Real Madrid Football Academy, where they are going to train the young ones, we saw that they have good facilities. At the moment, they have also offered admission to 140 pupils.
”That’s also to catch-them-young, and I want to believe that by the time this kind of resources is continuously invested in sports development in Nigeria, it’s just a matter of time, it will gain its pride of place in sporting world.”
On her part, the National President of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Ladi Bala said that the projects she had seen were entirely unique, unprecedented and very uncommon in the country.
According to Bala, the Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma Judges’ Quarters stand out as first of its kind in Nigeria, with its serene ambiance that would translate into enhancing the productivity of judges of Rivers origin.
”I believe that democracy is at work in Rivers State, and, for Rivers people, I want to congratulate them, and to say, this is the true reflection of what democracy should be across board.
”I want to call on other governors across the country to borrow a leaf from what the governor of Rivers State is doing. Wike is working, and we are very proud of what we have seen here”, she added.
In his reaction, the National Internal Auditor of NUJ, Muhammad Tukur, stated that Wike was a committed leader with the vision of uplifting the standard of life of his people.
Tukur, who expressed gratitude to Wike for his support to the NUJ National Conference in Port Harcourt, said that his show of love for journalists confirms his commitment to the welfare of the people.
On his part, Chairman of Oyo State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Ismail Ademola Babalola, asserted that the Mother and Child Hospital, and the Real Madrid Football Academy were part of projects Governor Wike was using to secure a productive future for the youths of the state because they meet global standard.
Also speaking, the Vice President of NUJ North Central Zone, Chief Wilson Bako, commended the quality of the various roads and flyover bridges constructed in the Port Harcourt metropolis to make the city tourists’ destination of choice.
In the same vein, the Vice Chairman of NUJ in Jigawa State, Comrade Larai Musa, said she has confirmed all that the news media had carried about Wike and his projects’ mantra, and asserted that it was leaders like him that were needed at the national level.
Also, Comrade Ikechukwu Ordu of Enugu State Council of the NUJ noted the need for other political leaders to emulate Wike in providing dividends of democracy to Rivers people and changing the fortunes of his state.
Also from the Enugu State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Ugochukwu Chukwudieke, said she was completely overwhelmed by what Wike has done in constructing the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover Bridge, Rumuogba Flyover Bridge, and Rebisi Flyover Bridge delivered within one year.
Chukwudieke also praised the quality of work on the Rumuola Flyover Bridge, Ogbun-nu-Abali Flyover Bridge, GRA Junction Flyover Bridge, and the Orochiri-Wurukwo flyover project at Waterlines Junction by Aba Road.
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